Wedding season is here!!! Our first wedding isn’t until mid-April, but I’m already giddy with excitement over our 2014 weddings as well as just getting back into the groove of what we do. And I’m so excited! So, I figured with this time of year and weddings starting up, that it was the perfect time for my followup post to “You’re Engaged! Now What?” post.
Gearing up for your wedding and just being engaged is a lot of fun. And when the big day arrives, you get to see all of your planning come together. Not only that, but you get to have a big party with all of your favorite people! Seriously, I WISH we could relive our wedding day over and over. There may be two minuscule things I would change about the day, but otherwise, it was perfect. And so much fun!
But once that day is over and you get home from your wonderful honeymoon, what do you do then?? This is by no means an extensive list, and I’m by no means any kind of expert. But hopefully this will help at least one person out there!
1. Breathe. You just spent the last 4-12 months planning a huge party and the vacation of a lifetime. Coming home from all of that, you’re probably going to feel a little let down because you don’t have this huge project anymore. Or maybe you’ll be thrilled that you can finally get back to normal life! The only thing is, on both counts, you’re actually living in a new normal. And it’s going to take some adjusting and getting used to. And there’s still going to be a lot to do! But, there’s time for all of that. So just remember to take deep breaths and don’t forget that your new spouse is probably feeling some or all of these things too. So breathe together and slowly work through everything… together!
2. Enjoy being married! It’s new. It’s all brand new. And it WILL take some time to get used to. But don’t let the stress of all of this new stuff get in the way of enjoying your new husband or wife. Yes, you will have conflict. Yes, you will have growing pains. But, you both love each other and I promise – as one who walked through the first few months of being newlyweds – that if you’re both in it for the right reasons and you remember to always try and serve your spouse above yourself, then everything WILL work out and fall into place!
3. Take one thing at a time. If you’re a list maker, this is a good time to get out your pen and paper. Make a list of the things you want to get done (in whatever order they come to mind!) and then get another piece of paper and put them in order of how you want to do them. Then stick that list on your fridge and tackle them one at a time. This may include some or all of the following…
- unpacking (your stuff, his stuff, or both depending on when/where/who moved!)
- unwrapping gifts, returning some, organizing the rest (it’s ok if this takes time!! You’re not on a time crunch so don’t fret over it.)
- changing your name (this will also take some time, but I have a solution below that will help!)
- writing thank you notes (this will be the longest project you have. But make a goal and go from there… even if it’s just 5 thank you notes a day, if you can do them in bits and pieces, it won’t seem as overwhelming!)
4. Changing your name. Everyone dreads this. Because in reality, you’ve been who you are for at least 18 years or longer and now you’re all of a sudden going to be called by something else. And there are at least 1.3 million places that your name needs to be changed. But luckily, someone has come before us and done something to make the process easier. And it’s SO WORTH the $30 fee! Let me introduce you to MissNowMrs.com*. This website will take your general information and then fill out all the forms you need for your state for you. It’s genius, really. And they’ll occasionally have a sale so keep an eye out! If memory serves, you can purchase the service and use it anytime within 12 months. So if you see a sale happening or find a coupon 6 months before your wedding date, go ahead and get it! I think I bought mine about 6 weeks before our wedding and finished using it a couple of months or so after our wedding.
I believe it also walks you through the order of how things need to be done. Your Social Security card has to be changed first. Because you’ll need that card (and your marriage certificate) to then change everything else. I still love remembering the look on the lady’s face at the DMV when I came in and already had all of my forms in hand. She was shocked! And I was thrilled!!
(*I was not compensated by their website, I just really appreciate what they do!)
5. Use your good china, crystal, etc. So you just got all of these amazingly generous and beautiful gifts (and some that probably aren’t quite your style…). And you’ve just gotten them all put away, ever so carefully. Now, as you’re cooking dinner tonight, pull out that china and serve dinner on it. Even if it’s just you and your husband! If you don’t pull out the “nice stuff” except for special occasions, you may never pull them out.
6. Get your wedding photos printed. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we only have a handful of our wedding pictures printed. It’s sad, I know. But, this past weekend, I just flipped through a friend’s wedding album full of 4×6 photos from their entire day. And I loved it! So, my goal for this is to get at least 100 of our images printed before Christmas. Which leads me to my last point…
7. Order a wedding album. Yes, I know this is another expense. And not an inexpensive one. However, working with your photographer to get your favorite photos into a handcrafted leather album that will be passed down to your children and grandchildren is worth it. My parents only had a collage frame of their wedding photos that I only saw once or twice. But I can only imagine that if they’d had an album how many times I would have flipped through it in my life. On your wedding day, you’re beginning a new family and it’s the start of your legacy. Putting those memories into an album for generations to flip through for years to come is priceless.
As I said, this isn’t an exhaustive list by ANY means. But they’re a few reminders I can use myself from time to time!